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tv   John King USA  CNN  April 3, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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situation room." voters will complete the process in wisconsin, maryland, washington, d.c. they'll choose their gop candidate. cnn's coverage begins at 7:00 with erin burnett, then ac 360, then piers morgan. the news continues next on cnn. thanks for yoining us. i'm jessica yellin. john king is off. we continue with the breaking news in texas. tornadoes rip through the dallas/ft. worth metro area this afternoon, producing incredible scenes of destruction. we watched tractor trailers lifting high in the air, spinning around, and then smashing to the ground. homes were hit, too. we have seen roofs peeled off, power lines down, and trees plinterred and uprooted. the damage is widespread. dallas county sheriff lupe valdez tells cnn her ofrszs are going house to house, checking on casualties until warnings
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that more severe storms were on the way. the emergency lasted for hours. this call came into cnn over two hours ago. >> if you go north, there's warnings all over the place. it's raining. people are scrambling to try to get out of the offices just to get home, and now it's caused a big problem, a big problem on the streets. the sirens going on. even if you're not even in the tornado warning places. you don't know which way to go. you really can't decide if you want to make a run home or stay where you are. >> cnn's ed lavendera is on the phone right now from lancaster. what are you seeing where you are right now? >> we have made our way into -- hit hard by the storm that rushed through just a few hours ago. a neighborhood in lancaster, from what we have bib able to see, and it's difficult to navigate with the emergency vehicles and residents trying to figure out what to do next. we have seen several dozen homes that have been heavily hit and
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destroyed by the storm. several with roofs completely ripped off. just spoke with one woman just a little while ago. she didn't have time to make it into an interior room in her house, jessica. she was in her front bedroom, big window that faced outside. all of a sudden, she said she heard the storm and tornado pushing, she could only duck into the corner of the room and saw blankets as the windows erupted and shattered inside the room. she said, i thought i was about to die. she covered herself up, and incredibly, no cuts. she made it out unhurt, before she knew, the storm had blown through. but i'm standing here in front of her house as we speak now, and all of the windows are out, the shingles ripped apart. several 2 x 4s launched into homes, sticking out of the brick homes as if they're tooth picks. incredible scenes in the
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isolated areas where the storm did the heaviest damage, and all of this covers a widespread area, pockets of severe disaster that we have found. we're on the southern edge of where all this happened. here in lancaster. >> ed, unbelievable story. we're glad you're safe, and we'll continue reporting as is warranted where the storm has done severe damage. the main line of the storms now is east of dallas. people in the metro area have been able to get outside and survey the damage to the neighborhoods, and they talk about what it was like when the tornado went through. >> it felt like somebody pelting the building with large objects. and i couldn't tell what was going on. i was in the bathroom in the bathtub with the door closed, so there was nothing i could do. too late to go anywhere. safer than where i was. it was not the best afternoon.
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>> not the best afternoon i'm sure. let's check in with chad myers in cnn's severe weather center. that's the understatement of the afternoon. tell me what's the latest there for the residents in the area 1234. >> well, kind of this big broom has pushed all of the weather to the east of dallas/ft. worth. it's this line of weather right here that has taken all of the moisture and all of the potential energy and shoved it off to the east. and so the real potential is up here to the north of tyler, north of shreveport. that's where the storms could still spin tonight. now that we have pushed away the moisture, the humidity, and the energy, the storms around dallas/f worth won't be as severe as they were today. for a while, this line was back out here. so these super cellular round storms were rolling right through the dallas/ft. worth area. at one point, we had two tornadoes on the ground. one rolled up i-35 and went to
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i-35 w. one went up i-35 e, the east. it starts in san antonio and ends way up north, and dallas/ft. worth splits the to two. and the two storms, tornadoes on the ground were paralleling each other for miles and miles, about 50 miles apart. so we have warnings for dallas county and tarrant county, and we know that tarrant county, because we didn't have helicopter coverage at that point in time, saw significant damage. probably the most significant damage of the two. but most of the time between 2:00 and 4:00, we were on the air, brooke baldwin and i, and we had tornadoes live on the ground and at times, i'm sure you're going to show the pictures, picking up the semis, the back part of tractor trailers. throwing hundreds of feet in the sky, and showing the power of what the tornadoes really were. luckily at that point, no one was injured because they were parked trucks, not live driving
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trucks. here we go, i just want you to get a feel that that is not like an ho train car. that's the back part of the tractor trailer you would be driving down the interstate, hoping it doesn't swerve in your lane. look how high these things are thrown in the air and then smashing down about 100, 200 feet downwind. >> it's astonishing. glad that the worst has moved beyond the dallas/ft. worth area. chad myers reporting for us. thanks so much. >> you're welcome. joining us now on the phone is jonathan cooke, who saw two tornadoes, as i understand, touch down. jonathan, thank you for being with us. i understand you're safe now, but tell us if you would, what you saw. >> yeah, this morning, i was in the bank, caught off guard a little bit. had no warning, and saw lightning strike about 50 yards across the street from the bank. and immediately after got some
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thunder, and then lightning struck again. thunder came, and i said, we need to look out the window and see what's going on. we looked out the window and about that time, hail started coming down. just a little bit bigger than a nickel. so i ran out of the bank, hopped in my truck, and ran across the street to the rest stop, gas station, with people were taking cover under the pumps, and about that time, a guy pulled up with inweather service truck, opened his door, and said, listen to the weather service woorb veto take cover. and a girl said, look up. there were two tornadoes that touched down about an eighth of a mile ahead of us. whenever that happened, sirens went off and the guy came over the city sirens and said take cover. tornado warning. confirms tornadoes on the ground. and then the girl pointed behind us and said, look, there's a third one.
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and there was a third one. >> where did you go to seek cover? >> we were just under the gas pump awning there. hoping that it didn't come our way. we had a good visual of it. but we really had nowhere to go. so it all happened so fast. we just had to run in the gas station. >> can you describe what it sounded like, what it looked like to you? >> it got really calm. it was raining and hailing like i said, and it busted the guy's tahoe windshield out next to me, and then all of a suzen, the rain and hail ceased. and then whenever the rain and hail stopped, that's when we saw the tornadoes touch down. it got windy and loud, and after everything cleared, i got in my truck and was starting to rush home. i only got about an eighth of a mile up the road before the police had everything blocked off on i-35, because apparently, there were overturned vehicles, and i couldn't even get home, my
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normal route. they had the highway closed off, down to one lane. >> you must have been terrified. was there some point where you feared for your life? >> i was very scared. i'm not going to act like i wasn't. whether the weather guy pulled up with the weather channel on his radio blaring, he had so sort of two-way radio telling where the storm was. he said it's only about an eighth of a mile from us, those were apparently the first two tornadoes that touched down today. they went on through arlington, and it's dev stating to see the damage they have done today. to a lot of people who were at work, luckily, and didn't get hurt, i haven't hurt any injuries, but i don't remember. i lived here my entire life, and i don't remember seeing any kind of tornadic activity like today. just one after another. >> on your drive home, did you see damage? can you describe anything that you have seen along the way? >> yeah, on my drive home, there were large trees, large tree
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limb, a lot of leaves scattered across the highway, and tree limbs on the highway. and you know, just right off the highway, on the access road, i saw many roofs taken off homes. there was some tin sheet metal on the highway on the shoulders, that i guess had blown from older buildings that had been built, and piece of their roof blowing off, and on my way home, i saw one more missed cloud funnel that was forming off the highway. that's when the rain picked up again. the second storm came through. and i took shelter underneath an overpass. >> live pictures from dallas affiliate wfaa of some of the damage that the tornadoes wreaked in the neighborhood, just remarkable images there. and as we continue to cover this story, there are tractor trailers that weigh thousands of pounds lifted up and splintered
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by the storm. we'll tell you how this truck depot is taking stock of their damage. and at the dallas/ft. worth airport, passengers had to be moved to safety. hundreds of flights are kanlsalled or delayed. we're keeping an eye on all of this.
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snapshot from progressive. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive. we want to get back to the tornadoes in texas. you're looking at live pictures from our affiliate, faa, that shows tremendous damage. 400 flights at dallas/ft. worth international airport have been cancelled, and at one point, all of the passengers inside the airport had to be moved to safety. let's bring in our aviation and regulation correspondent lizzy o'leary. anyone who has flown will know that this means a ripple effect to fliers all over the country, doesn't it? >> it does. and in large part, that's because this is such a big airport. you also have love field there as well. but we're talking about an airport that is essentially a hub for american airlines. hundreds of flights canceled, but generally, 150,000
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passengers a day move through dallas/ft. worth. when you have cancellations like this, it causes a ripple effect. you also have planes that need to be inspikted for hail damage. american said they had to inspikt about 68 planes. they're looking a all different aspects of them. there was a storm last summer that caused significant hail damage in denver where you had planes with damage on the wings, on the wing flaps. if hail comes in contact with the planes, they have to inspect them. >> that makes sense. what does the airline do with the passengers inside the building when a tornado hits? >> we saw that when the tornadoes hit the st. louis airport. what they told us is that shelter passengers in place. a lot of that means you go to the place with the thickest walls. that's any part away from glass, bathrooms, stores, in dfw, some of the lower level stuff. you want to get people into basically the most securely constructed area that is
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possible. it makes sense, but that's what you have to do with hundreds of people. >> and we'll feel the impact of this. >> absolutely. >> thanks so much. >> we'll continue watching the texas storms and bring you the latest pictures and reports of damage from there. plus, it's also primary night in maryland, d.c., and wisconsin, and the republican national committee leader said bragging rights are on the line. we're talking to him next. ♪ ( whirring and crackling sounds )
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a big day in presidential politics. voters in maryland and the district of columbia have less than twor hours to cast votes in today's presidential primaries. in wisconsin, the polls are open until 9:00 eastern. president obama picked this primary day to ratchet up his attacked on the republicans. but he called one republican by name, mitt romney, with a budget plan that the president called radical, social darwinism, and a trojan horse designed to gut spending on education, research, and the middle class. >> one of my potential opponents, governor romney, said he hoped the similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency. he's very supportive of this new budget. and he even called it marvelous. which is a word you don't often here when it comes to describing a budget. >> our chief political analyst,
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gloria borger, is here. it's the first time the president has mentioned mitt romney by name. >> it means game on, and it's no surprise that what he's doing is he's trying to tie him to paul ryan, who is the author of a very controversial plan that passed in the house of representatives, which essentially restructures medicare. what strikes me about all this because republicans responded immediately, calling the president outrageous, what strikes me about this is that each side in this presidential campaign really thinks it can win by drawing bright, neon lines in the sand. you know, republicans are making a calculation, they should go to the right. democrats go to the left. >> the president also said that essentially president ronald reagan couldn't win in this gop primary because he said it's so far to the right. is that a winning message for
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him? >> well, look, i think what the president was doing is kind of ribbing republicans, saying, looking in this primary season, i heard all of you compete for the mantel of ronald reagan. all of you wanted to be ronald reagan redux, and this was a president, a republican president who decided he needed to compromise sometimes and raise taxes sxrk not one of you could win in any of your primaries if you sounded like ronald reagan. i think we'll hear that in the general election as well. >> thanks so much. we'll hear more from you later. >> there's an election. >> and somebody who will have a very different opinion from president obama is republican nationally committee chairman ryans priebus who calls inrace in his hometown pivotal in determining the nominee. thanks for being with us. >> hi. >> hi, today, governor romney seemed concerns that the drawn out primary battle with rick
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santorum could mean republicans lose this election. he gave an example from recent history, listen to this. >> i think going back to the clinton years, you have to remember it was ross perot that allowed bill clinton to win. and the right thing for us, i think, is to get a nominee as soon as we can, and be able to focus on barack obama. >> looking ahead to tonight, do you think rick santorum in the race is a spoiler? >> no, i actually think we have had a lot of benefits from a little bit longer primary. let's not overdramatize it. we're in the beginning of april and talking about a big night tonight and potentially a few more contests in april. so i think we've taken this narrative further than it needs to go. i think there's a lot of reasons for having an extended primary. i think superpacs play a role. i think people didn't want to campaign over christmas. at the end of the day, we have a republican primary process that has allowed us to accumulate
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more volunteers, more people going to caucus. >> at the same time, you told the washington post whoever wins in wisconsin, that's tonight, is going to have really serious bragging rights and the vote tonight is pivotal. so that's the closest i have heard you come to playing ref in the primary. if santorum loses wisconsin tonight, should he drop out? >> well, i'm not going to go that far, but obviously, who knows what is going to happen tonight. i really don't want to influence the vote in wisconsin. here is what i think. i think wisconsin has been in the cross hairs here for many years, especially over the last year. i think the people there are very sophisticated politically. they're very in tune with voting. you're going to see turnout very high today in wisconsin. and ultimately, the winner out of this contest because it has been so hyped up in the media, which it should be, that person is going to have some serious bragging rouths, as i told the washington post, and i believe that. and we'll see the fallout of
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tonight tomorrow, and i'll leave it at that as opposed to me predicting what might happen. >> hmm, that's very leading. the fallout, we'll follow that. you're very close with wisconsin congressman paul ryan, who hasn't closed the door on being a potential vice presidential pick. do you think he would make a good vp? >> of course, but i'm going to leave it up to the nominee. i think as opposed to the president's pageantry in speeches, i think paul ryan is a guy who is actually somebody of his word who follows through on promises as opposed to giving speeches that are think, are in mine mind, the president's speeches are becoming like a saturday night skit where you make fun of the guy who is proposing something serious when the person giving the speech, the president, hasn't proposed anything serious that any democrat would vote for themselves. and i don't know how many years. so hard to make fun of a guy that proposed a budget to fix the problems when you didn't propose a thing and you're
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supposed to be the president of the united states. >> they would take issue with that. they put out a budget. >> and no democrat voted for it. >> they say what was on the floor was a gimmick. we can disagree with that for forever. >> they didn't agree with it because it was a joke. >> the president went after mitt romney for the first time. we'll play some of what the president said. >> this congressional republican budget is something different all together. it is a trojan horse. disguised as deficit reduction plans. it's really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. it is thinly veiled social darwinism. >> middle class voters do seem to be wary of mitt romney to date. that's based on polling, not just opinion. 34% say romney cares about them. among those who make less than
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$50,000, only 36% favor romney, over 57% who favor obama. is that a bad sign if he becomes your general election nominee? >> no, because the entire party will unify behind the nominee. and you look at most polling, it shows that over 55% to 70% of the american people feel this country is on the wrong track. and i don't think that most people in this country want to replace the american dream with a european nightmare, which is what the president has put in place, if he's put anything in place. second to that, the president has basically been a person of inaction and a lot of speeches. i think people can see through the veneer and the pomp and circumstance, and they want real and genuine in the white house, and i think we're go to give it to them. >> sarah palin was on the "today" show today. she refused to give a ringing endorsement to romney. what are you thoughts on her comments this morn sng.
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>> i wouldn't know. i didn't watch it. and so i wouldn't really comment on what she said, the tone or context. we're going to move forward with the work that we need to do to replace this president and help save this country. >> okay, all right. we'll look for what you mean when we see the fallout tomorrow of who wins tonight. >> thanks. up next, we'll have the latest information on the damage from the texas tornadoes, including an update on what happened in the dramatic pictures from a truck parking lot. i'm walt gale, i worked at the colorado springs mail processing plant for 22 years. we processed on a given day about a million pieces of mail. checks, newspapers, bills. a lot of people get their medications
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only through the mail. small businesses depend on this processing plant. they want to shut down 3000 post offices, cut 100,000 jobs. they're gonna be putting people out of work everywhere. the american people depend on the postal service. you know, typical alarm clock. i am so glad to get rid of it. just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have that's what i'm going to live within. ♪ ♪ ♪ home was an airport lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪
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i'm jessica yellin. this half hour of john king usa, we continue following the breaking news out of texas. devastating tornadoes in the dallas/ft. worth area. look at the power of the winds as one of the tornadoes tosses tractor trailers in the air. now that the storms are east of dallas, we're getting pictures of the widespread damage to texas and others. people are telling harrowing stori stories. >> there was debris flying through the air. i bolted upstairs. i got the dogs, we ran to the inner most part of the house, shut the door, and that's when i heard the windows break and loud, screechingi sirens. >> ed lavendera is in lancaster,
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one of the hardest hit areas. you have seen a lot today. what are you seeing there now? >> jessica, we're in one of the harder hit neighborhoods in the city of lancaster, south of dallas. we're told by city officials here that some 300 buildings were damaged. this is one of the homes here in the neighborhood that we're at, just a poignant scene here moments ago. a girl coming home from school, no older than 12, and saw that for the first time and broke down into tears. we have also seen amazing scenes like this. look at the 2 x 4 impaled in the house. one story that struck me is with this lady, quinn dabbs. she was in the window in the corner of the house. you weren't able to make it to an interior room in time. >> right. >> what was that like for you? >> so scary, too scary. it came so fast.
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and i couldn't move fast enough. i went to get my purse and my medicine to take in the bathroom, and it hit before i could get up, before i could get it. and it's right there. >> you ducked into the corner of the room there. >> by the window. >> covered yourself in blankets. >> blankets and pillows and the ottoman, and the wind was pulling the cover back, and i was pulling it, trying to hold on to it. and i just saw debris, debris, debris, glass flying, glass breaking. >> you heard everything explode, you described it me earlier. >> yeah, yeah. i don't know what else to say. >> just overwhelmed? >> so overwhelmed. so overwhelmed. just a shock. >> but i think the amazing think about it is you don't have any cuts. you're able to walk out. >> not a one, not a one. i was dug down in that corner. my body is sore from being in the corner, but i don't have not a cut, not scratch, and i'm so
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thankful. thank you, lord. >> and your family is with you. >> i was in the house by myself. >> you saw the storm coming, too, right? >> i saw it in my house. i stay in another neighborhood by the lancaster high school. i knew something was wrong because the animals, they say they're the first to know, and they were trying to get in the house. i got the phone call, you need to get up, are you okay? i was like, what's the matter? tornado hit your auntie's house, she was in it. i did my best to get over here. >> are you amazed you were able to walk out alive 1234. >> so amazed and so grateful because i didn't know i could walk. when the man came through the window to get me because i was crying for help, help, hem, somebody help me, i didn't even know i had legs to stand. >> the vantage point doesn't do it damage because a lot of the damage is on the backside of the house. but a big massive tree on the other side impalled into the side of your home.
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one of your curtains on top of a tree over there. >> yeah. >> the force was unbelievable. >> unbleevlable, unbelievable for it to do so mituch in so sht a time. they said three to five minutes, fwut seemed like it was longer. it was quick, but it was so devastating until it -- last like 15 minutes, it seemed like. >> you told me a while ago, like being in the middle of "the wizard of oz." >> right, the tornado in the "wizard of oz"everything was flying. you're trying to find a place to go, trying to look, but you want to cover your head. it was devastating. i have never seen it. i know it happens, but to me, it was -- >> we're glad you're okay. >> thank you so much. >> jessica, we're having a hard time navigating with our equipment and our trucks through the neighborhood, but just one block over, a row of homes, several dozen homes, destroyed,
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rooftops completely gone. this was the back end, the storm blew out this way. a devastating afternoon here in the city of lancaster. >> just a remarkable story. as you say, a blessing she was able to walk out of there alive. thanks so much, ed. ed lavendera reporting for us from lancaster, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm. the line of storms is now east of dallas. let's check in again with meteorologist chad myers in the cnn severe weather center. chad, dallas -- texas isn't clear of the storms yet, are they? >> dallas proper is, but you know, the dallas metro area and the tv stations cover more than the two cities. so the dallas tv stations are still busy covering the storms that are here to the northwest of shreveport. those right there, those are the ones still rotating. they still have the potential to put down a tornado. but this would be ft. worth, this is dallas, and now this line, jessica, has moved to the east, almost like a bigphragm bo zamboni, sweeping all of the moisture out of the air, taking
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the potential for tornadoes with it. no more potential for significant tornadoes near the dfw area. let me show you what it looked like as it came up through dallas/ft. worth. we had two simal tayetaneously rotating cyclones, we call them mesocyclones. it moved up into kennon dale and up to arlington. this one here, that's the lancaster storm. as it moved up, and right to dallas, it put down tornadoes to the northeast of dallas. they were simultaneous. doing like battling tops as they were driving themselves through dallas and ft. worth. we were on tv, live with this type of system trying to cover two separate tornadoes on the ground at the same time. this was about three hours ago. they're now all gone. we are still waiting for the damage pictures from the tarrant county storm, which is the west
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storm. this one here, we even believe that some of the damage here may be worse than the damage we're seeing in dallas, where ed lavendera is now. >> chad, thanks so much. and let's take a look again at the stunning pictures from earlier today. those storms hurled gigantic tractor trailers through the air, leaving them in crumpled piles on the ground. brian todd is here, and brian, look, these pictures sum up the power of these tornadoes. but you can tell us a little bit more about what happens to these trucks and what can happen now that the tornadoes are over. >> that's right. they're still assessing damage there. we have a little more information about what happened at that depot. that's the snyder depot trucking company. we saw this at 2:30 eastern time from this tower camera. saw the things picked up and thrown about like match sticks. you saw flashes of light. those were transformers, power cables being cut, things like that. what we have is information from
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the schneider national trucking firm where that occurred, on lbj freeway outside of ft. worth. according to janet bonkowksi, it moved through about 1:30 local time there. 65 people work there full time. they have about 300 truckers that go in and out every day. that was in the middle of the day, so that could have been a fairly busy period. we have sound from the taped interview on the phone with janet of schneider national trucking just kind of assessing the overall damage. take a listen. >> we're currently assessing the status of the associates on location at the time of the torna tornado. at this time there, are no reported injuries. certainly in a situation like this, that could change. we hope that it doesn't. we have initial reports that there was no damage to our building but significant damage to the equipment that was on location in our yard area. in the dallas/ft. worth area.
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>> now, jessica, we're going to give you an assessment of what type of equipment we were talking ability. after she gave us that update, we were told they still don't have an update on the people who work there, how many might be injured. they said no injuriesurmy, but that was early in the assessment. they also did not have a full accounting of where everyone was who was there at the time. buas far as the measurements and just what was tossed up in the air. an empty trailer, those things that you saw flying up in the air, 14,000 pounds. seven tons. an empty trailer. when they're full, she said, they're 46,000 pounds. those that you saw were probably empty. still, seven tons flying through the air there. 53 feet long, and some of those were tossed hundreds of yards. this video speaks for itself. you get a sense of the measurement there. they're trying to assess where some of the things landed, where they are, how far they r who might have gotten hurt. still very early. that's seven tons you see flying
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through the air. >> that's astonishing and worrisome that they don't have an assessment, where everybody is yet. we'll keep on top of that. thanks so much. tornado watches remain in effect for north central and east texas as well as for southwest arkansas and northwest louisiana. tornadoes hit the dallas/ft. worth metro area hard this afternoon. damage there is widespread, but so far, no reports of deaths or serious injuries. we'll continue to follow the story all night long. and coming up, president obama makes it personal. he's going after mitt romney for the first time by name. and some surprising exit poll results as wisconsin votes for its pick in the gop presidential race. that we say td of identity thieves "enough." td we're lifelock, and we believe you have the right to live free from the fear of identity theft. our pledge to you? as long as there are identity thieves, we'll be there. we're lifelock.
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this could be a big night for mitt romney, who is hoping for a sweep in today's republican primaries. the polls are open for another hour in d.c. and maryland and until 9:00 eastern in wisconsin. we're auld getting information from the exit polls. let's bring in tom foreman. they're letting you play at the magic wall tonight. >> it's the most fascinating information tonight, too. i have to tell you, the big race is over here, but 42 delegates in wisconsin. everybody is excited about what is coming out of there, and our exit polls are telling us three groups you have to watch tonight. look at this, an open primary there. 30% of the voters were independent, 58%, republican,
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12% democrat. you have to watch that group here, and i'll tell you just part of what we heard because this is fascinating, the democrats, 32% backing santorum, 22%, romney. why would democrats be behind santorum. two possibilities. one, thing we have heard rumblings about, rabble-rouser who are trying to keep the republican party in turmoil, but they could be reagan democrats. how old are they? if they're older than 46 years old, they could have voted for reagan the last time wisconsin went republican. 1984, and that could be them. second group you want to watch is the vote by eideoloeideology. somewhat conservative, 31%, modera moderate or liberalering 38% of them said they were moteral or liberal. that's a group that has tended
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to look pretty good for mitt romney, and the group we want to watch is the tea party group. among our voters today, 57% said they support the tea party. we know that congressman paul ryan from up there endorsed mitt romney. as the night goes on, we have to look at the number and see if the endorsement took and won some of the people over to romney or if they'll continue looking at santorum with favorable eyes as they have in so many other places. >> very intrstzing. we'll continue to follow your up dates throughout the night. tom foreman will be at the magical wall all night. here now as voters continue to go to the poll, michael crowley, bay buchanan, and cnn contributor paul begala. let's start right with what we heard from tom foreman. paul, what influence do you think democrats might have tonight in wisconsin? anything significant? >> marginal.
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foreman has it right. it's entirely possible that there are still a few people who call themselves democrats but vote in national elections as republicans. those old reagan democrats. i don't believe in this sort of operation mischief -- i still can't remember his name, fat radio guy from 40 years ago. i don't believe the myth that they're doing it today. it's a republican primary, and let the better republican win. >> romney has more than half of the delegates needed to get the magic number, and santorum is just a little behind him. more than a little. does he need to win wisconsin to stay in the race? if he doesn't win wisconsin, can he justify staying on until pennsylvania? >> he announced he's got plans to be bowling in pennsylvania tomorrow. if he did win it tonight, we would have to assess what is going on. it's unlikely, but i think he wants to have a go. it's his home state, pennsylvania. even that could be tough. thint.
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there is not that much cost for him to stay in. he can run a campaign and get free media. he is building up to have a nice moment at the convention and maybe get something out of a romney administration. there is no cost to stay around as long as he is not too nasty. >> president obama today decided to go after mitt romney by name for the first time in a campaign speech. >> one of my potential opponents, governor romney has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency and said he is very supportive of this new budget and even called it marvelous which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget. >> do you think the meat of that kind of attack will work in this campaign? >> it is all he has.
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he cannot defend his record. it astounds me that president obama would attack the budget of a courageous congressman when he has done reckless spending that put this country on the brink of fiscal disaster. he is upset with someone else proposing a very responsible bold budget. i think that both paul ryan and mitt romney are there together in wisconsin and they both are working to make certain that we turn this country around and the only possible way to do that's to come up with a budget that is responsible and addresses the fact that we can no longer spend so recklessly. >> mitt romney responded a little bit. here is what he said on the radio show. >> it's a disingenuous fear mongered approach which i understand it is going to catch a lot of attention but as people dig in a little deeper i thurge
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they are going to understand that this is president obama being president obama whichser finding a way to deflect blame. >> is he deflecting blame? >> no. it is campaigning. i advise the proobama superpac. that means i never talk to the campaign or the white house. i want to see the president reelected so i loved that speech. the republicans god bless them with this bromanse between romney and ryan they want to cut tax taxes. and destroy taxes to pay for tax breaks for the rich that destroy the deficit more. it is an extraordinary gift given. >> absolutely right.
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president obama, you want to talk about destroying. he has destroyed the hopes and dreams of millions of americans under his presidency. >> battle lines have been drawn here. >> one side can call the other fear mongering. i think you have a philosophical divide. one side wants to maintain low tax rates particularly on the wealthy and reduce the sides of government and cut spending and then president obama says let's tax the rich more and we'll have more of a social safety net. it is a reasonable philosophical divide. >> let's have a preview of the substantive side. >> marvelous. >> marvelous. look for that coming up. >> "erin burnett outfront" is
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coming up. the big three auto makers reported strong sales. >> it is good news. for the country when i look at the number the best single month for auto sales when you add it up since the summer of 2007 and that's when everything was perfect with the housing market and everything else. what does this really mean? we will talk about the bailout politics. top of the hour news good or bad for mitt romney. >> and stay with erin and the entire cnn election team throughout the night as they track primary results in maryland, d.c. and wisconsin. the first polls start closing in about an hour so keep it here. ♪
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and here is the latest news you need to know right now. >> hello everyone. the u.s. is offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of pakistan military leader. he is thought to be the master mind behind the 2008 terrorist attack on india which killed 166 people. and a mock movie poster has popped up on several jihadist websites saying al qaeda coming soon again in new york and now the fbi and police want to find out who posted it. a spokesman stresses there is no specific or credible threat to the city. it would seem no one's job
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is safe in rupert murdoch's even family members. it is the latest from the phone scandal. dick cheney is out of the hospital and continuing his recovery from a heart transplant ten days ago. in a written statement cheney thanks his doctors as well as the heart donor and donor's family for "this remarkable gift". daniel kraig will reprise his role as james bond this summer reportedly at the request of queen elizabeth. details are probably no surprise to you under wraps but word is we might expect to see craig drop out of a helicopter and maybe a cameo from the queen herself. >> i don't think she will be


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